[Femslash February 2016 Series Essay] I’ll never write a book with a sad ending. Here’s why.

[TW for mention of suicide]

Following the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot, I wrote 700,000 words in one year. I was consumed by such love for the Lara Croft/Sam Nishimura ship, I lived in a perpetual writing coma. If I wasn’t writing, I was thinking about writing, or talking about writing, or gushing about how much I loved these two women and what I was going to write about them. I loved their dynamic, their story and everything about them. Even though they weren’t an ‘official’ couple, there was no doubt in my mind that they loved each other.

I’d lie awake in bed at night and imagine the type of adventures they’d have; I’d imagine silly things I could write about while I was driving to work during the day. They were my life, my soul, and I can hardly remember anything about that year that had nothing to do with them.

In the second half of 2013, riding high on the success of a popular 130,000 word slow-burn epic I’d written, I was planning my sequel, another monster story that ended up being 234,000 words long. I’d spent a month plotting what I thought was going to be a great story. I’d consulted folks from the culture I was writing about, I’d done all my archaeological research. As for the narrative, I’d been writing a sort of remix of a bunch of the older game stories into the new reboot, and I’d plotted what I thought was going to be an amazing homage to the original Tomb Raider.

My concept? I was going to transform new Lara Croft—the Lara who felt, and cried, and loved—into the old Lara Croft: someone stoic and unfeeling, someone who distanced herself from everyone around her and killed without remorse.

I was going to do it by killing her best friend and soulmate, Sam Nishimura.

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